Category:
Obituaries

RIP Leon Redbone (1949-2019)

A truly odd, enigmatic musician. As noted by his obit in the Independent:

He was an eccentric blend of antiquarian, actor, singer, musician and performance artist – with a strong element of Marxian absurdity. Redbone sometimes pulled a tomato from his handkerchief and placed it on a stool beside him, then wrapped it up again as he left the stage.

For a long time, almost no biographical info was known about him. Many suspected he wasn't even a real person. Perhaps someone such as Frank Zappa or Bob Dylan was posing as Redbone. But no, Redbone was real. He died on May 30.

Posted By: Alex - Sat Jun 15, 2019 - Comments (2)
Category: Music, Obituaries

RIP Ricky Jay

I just saw the news that Ricky Jay died yesterday in LA of natural causes, age 72. He was best known as a magician and actor, but he was also a towering figure in the study of the odd, esoteric, and weird. His book Learned Pigs & Fireproof Women is an all-time classic of the genre. We've had it on permanent rotation in our sidebar list of recommended books for a while. It was first published in 1986, but I only discovered it in the early 1990s, when I was at grad school. I thought it was amazing. One of my favorite books ever. And I've been a huge fan of his ever since. He'll be missed!

Posted By: Alex - Sun Nov 25, 2018 - Comments (1)
Category: Books, Obituaries

Joe Bailon, RIP



The inventor of "candy apple red."

Posted By: Paul - Fri Sep 29, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Motor Vehicles, Pop Art, Obituaries

Claude Hall, RIP



Obit source.



Frank Chacksfield page.

Posted By: Paul - Tue Jul 11, 2017 - Comments (2)
Category: Music, Obituaries

Perky the Duck



It seems like 2016 was a year marked by an unusually high number of celebrity deaths. And among those who passed away was Perky, the duck who wouldn't die, who did, in fact, finally kick the bucket.

Perky was a one-pound, female, ring-neck duck who gained international fame in January 2007 after she survived being shot three times by a hunter, retrieved by a dog, and then stored in the hunter's refrigerator for two days.

By chance, the hunter's wife happened to open the refrigerator (she reportedly rarely looked in it because it was the spare fridge her husband used to store game), at which point Perky lifted her head to say hello. The wife took compassion on Perky and rushed her to a vet.

That wasn't the end of Perky's brush with death. During the surgery to repair the gunshot damage Perky stopped breathing, but the surgeon was able to revive her.

Once she had regained her health, Perky was given a home at the Tallahassee Museum, where she lived for nine years before dying of old age in May 2016.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Jan 03, 2017 - Comments (1)
Category: Animals, Death, Obituaries

Mike Greenstein, RIP



Obit here.

Posted By: Paul - Thu Feb 25, 2016 - Comments (4)
Category: Elderly and Seniors, Human Marvels, Obituaries

RIP Adam Purple

American eccentric Adam Purple died last week, at the age of 84. The NY Times says he collapsed on the walkway of the Williamsburg Bridge. We've previously noted some of his achievements here on WU. He's most famous as the "original hipster" and a "Guerrilla Gardener" who created a "Garden of Eden" on the Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Some of his other life details, from the NY Times obit:

  • He used many aliases throughout his life, including Rev. Les Ego, John Peter Zenger 2nd, and General Zen of the Headquarters Intergalactic of Psychic Police of Uranus.
  • He produced hundreds of copies of a tiny book called “Zentences!” that was meant to encourage meditation.
  • He "renounced the internal combustion engine."
  • "Because of his abhorrence of waste, he salvaged and repurposed everything he could, including empty glass bottles, rusty nails and even buckets of lost tennis balls found on the street."

Posted By: Alex - Sun Sep 20, 2015 - Comments (1)
Category: Eccentrics, Bohemians, Beatniks, Hippies and Slackers, Obituaries

RIP Will Atkinson, the Walmart Elvis


Will Atkinson died recently of pancreatitis, at the age of 51. He had gained fame in Oxford, Mississippi as an Elvis impersonator, and was known there as "Elvis," or the "Big E." And also as the "Walmart Elvis" because he worked at Walmart and would sing in the aisles as he worked. From the Clarion-Ledger:

By day, he worked at the local Walmart, where he would sing gospel and Elvis classics throughout the store so well that many mistook his voice for the sound system, said Walmart sales associate Suzette Boone...

Atkinson obsessed over getting every Elvis detail correct. He dyed his hair, had four Elvis jumpsuits, and fashioned his voice to sound just like the real thing...

At the local Walmart, employees broke corporate protocol and set up a memorial wreath at the entrance, and had pictures displayed on a table inside, along with a condolence book, which many customers have stopped to sign. The store even played some of Atkinson’s recordings on the sound system. "The aisles are going to be quiet now," said Walmart assistant manager Lavina Woodfin, "No more song."

There are more tributes to him here and here.

Posted By: Alex - Tue Sep 08, 2015 - Comments (5)
Category: Music, Obituaries

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Who We Are
Alex Boese
Alex is the creator and curator of the Museum of Hoaxes. He's also the author of various weird, non-fiction, science-themed books such as Elephants on Acid and Psychedelic Apes.

Paul Di Filippo
Paul has been paid to put weird ideas into fictional form for over thirty years, in his career as a noted science fiction writer. He has recently begun blogging on many curious topics with three fellow writers at The Inferior 4+1.

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